Four chance encounters after Pulwama proved once again what this writer has always felt, that social media is not reflective of ground reality. The war cries drowning WhatsApp groups after at least 40 CRPF jawans were blown up in Kashmir on February 14, made one believe that the entire country was engulfed in war hysteria. After all, WhatsApp is now a national addiction.
But casual conversations with three men, far removed from one another in social background, reassured me that social media had not completely killed common sense. The questions asked by an auto driver, a doctor and a lawyer in three separate social milieux in Mumbai were similar. The attack had left them wondering how such a large quantity of RDX could have got through the innumerable security personnel stationed in the Valley. And why had the warnings of the possibility of such an attack not been heeded?
These three men are far removed from the “anti-nationals” who doubt everything the ruling party says. The lawyer, in fact, has represented the BJP government a number of times. Their questions sprang partly from J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik’s admission of a failure of intelligence, which had been front-paged in all newspapers the day the Pulwama attack made headlines. Their uneasiness about the timing of these two events were confirmed by BJP veteran Yeddyurappa’s declaration that the Balakot strike would help his party sweep Karnataka in the coming elections. Soon after, the Jharkhand BJP president made the same prediction for his state.…
- Warmongering against Democracy – Editorial (Mar 9, 2019, EPW)
- How Narendra Modi has almost killed the Indian media – By Nikhil Inamdar (Mar 12, 2019, Qz.com)
- For Partition migrants, ugly nationalism in India and Pakistan is stealing their histories – By Haroon Khalid (Mar 11, 2019, Scroll.in)
- How to spot an anti-national – By Ruchir Joshi (Mar 9, 2019, The Hindu)